Sumner considers “door tax” for street repairs

The city of Sumner may begin a “door tax” in order to fund some street repairs.

Tax refers to the truck doors on buildings for unloading freight

The city of Sumner may begin a “door tax” in order to fund some street repairs.

Certain roadways are heavily travelled by large commercial trucks or tractor-trailers which, over time, cause damage to the road. The current tax structure makes it difficult for the city to fund improvements.

City Administrator John Doan said Sumner lost revenue when the motor vehicle excise tax ceased and when Initiative 747 placed a cap on property tax increases. The excise tax specifically funded street causes. Maintenance of city streets is funded by the general fund, which receives its money from property tax, sales tax and other sources. Because I-747 caps property tax at 1 percent, it limits the amount of money available for street repair, Doan said.

The general fund is not keeping pace with inflation and the costs of additions like traffic signals and street lights, he added.

After paying for street lighting, pothole repair, sanding, signs and basic maintenance, there isn’t enough money left to cover the cost of resurfacing truck routes.

The new tax being considered would be placed on “truck doors” – referring to those doors leading into a building where freight is loaded and unloaded. A property owner would need to certify a specific number of doors to use during the year and could only use the certified doors.

The city does not yet know how much revenue would be raised by the tax.

Reach Chaz Holmes at cholmes@courierherald.com or 360-802-8208.

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